Marketing Best Practices. How To Grow Your List, Ensure Deliverability & Increase Engagement

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1 Marketing Best Practices How To Grow Your List, Ensure Deliverability & Increase Engagement

2 Marketing Best Practices How To Grow Your List, Ensure Deliverability & Increase Engagement Introduction... 1 Chapter How to grow your list Chapter How to integrate into inbound marketing Chapter Deliverability: What is is & how to get it? Chapter List Segmenting - the key to success Conclusion... 13

3 Introduction No matter what happens in the world of digital communication, there is one constant marketing. Contrary to annual predictions that marketing has peaked, the numbers tell a different story. A fairly recent DMA study found that 76% of marketers use more than they were three years ago. In terms of numerically-based predictions, Forrester Research forecasts that investment in marketing will to grow from $1.3 billion in 2010 to $2 billion in Knowing that marketing will not only continue but also increase, how can it be integrated into a successful inbound marketing strategy? In this ebook we will look at the reasons for incorporating into your inbound marketing strategy and ways to make this integration most effective. 1

4 Chapter 1 How to Grow Your List Who you send to is more important than what you send. It doesn t matter if your list is 1,000 or 100,000; your marketing is only as good as the quality of your recipient list. The reality is that we live in a world where people change jobs, get married and change names, where companies go out of business, merge and relocate, and where interests and needs change. That means that lists have natural decay. On average, marketing lists have a tendency to expire at a rate of 25% a year. So if you aren t working at cleaning your list and pursuing new prospects to join your lists, chances are the effectiveness of your marketing will only decline. We have found that marketers grow their lists in two ways: the bad way and the good. 2

5 Growing Your List The Bad Way While we can t say you won t build your list if you buy third-party lists, we can say that do so comes with a number of risks. Or put another way, we wouldn t do it. Warning - You Can Alienate Recipients It does not make people happy to get s with irrelevant ads or marketing messages from companies they have never interacted with. This is the exact opposite experience they get with inbound marketing, where they seek you out. Being interrupted creates annoyance and few, if any, quality leads. Warning - You Could Get Blacklisted Or Marked For Spam You don t ever want to negatively affect your deliverability rate. We ll cover this more in the next section, but using a third party list can do more damage in deliverability than good. Warning - Bought Recipients Aren t As Engaged As Opt-In Recipients Not only are click-through rates dramatically worse with third party lists than opt-in lists, but even when they convert, the quality of leads are also much worse. Warning - It Undermines Your Inbound Marketing Strategy Buying and using a third party list can undercut your company s reputation as a helpful inbound marketer. As an inbound marketer, you want to attract leads through useful, valuable content rather than harassing prospective customers with ads or direct mail they never asked for. What Is Inbound Marketing? It s almost the opposite of outbound marketing, which likes to interrupt consumers in the hopes they will suddenly see the light and want to buy that product. To learn more about how inbound marketing really works and can help you, go to the MODassic website. Inbound marketing is about getting found by those who are looking for a solution that you offer, converting that person into a lead or sale, and then analyzing their behavior so you can learn how to attract more people who might be looking for your solution. 3

6 Growing Your List The Good Way If you provide value and relevance to your prospects, they will eventually convert into quality leads. The best way we know how to attract them is through inbound marketing. If you want to start generating leads through inbound marketing launch a blog and fill it with good, useful, searchfriendly, content. Don t Hide Your Subscribe Box A good blog and website should act like a magnet for potential subscribers. When they get to your blog, don t assume they can intuitively find their way around. If you make it hard for them to find your subscribe box, odds are they won t sign up. To make sure your subscriber box is optimally placed try A/B testing its placement on your site. A good place to start is putting your submission field in the top of your blog and remove any other distractions. Consider Partnerships Non-competing companies often share the same market audience. So figure out which non-competing company wants to reach the same audience as you and ask them to join you in co-hosting a webinar or another marketing event. Both companies will reach out to their own lists. During the webinar or event participants will be encouraged to opt-in to hear more from each company. The end result is that both companies will end up with new and engaged subscribers. 4

7 How to Reduce Unsubscribers Growing your list is a lot like two steps forward and one step back. You are going to get unsubscribes. What s important is to try to minimize them. Here are a few tips on how to reduce your unsubscribe rate: Top Two Reasons Users Unsubscribe from Subscription: 1. Too many s (69%) 2. Content is no longer relevant (56%) Source: Chadwick Martin Bailey So take that knowledge and use it to your advantage. During the unsubscribe process give them the option to receive fewer s or s about specific topics. They still might want to unsubscribe. But how do you know if they have really lost interest in you or if they just don t like marketing? Give them a way to follow you through your social media sites. Conduct A Frequency Study You can sit back and wait for them to unsubscribe or you can be proactive. Survey your subscribers about how often they d like to hear from you. With that information test what the survey results tell you with a higher and lower frequency rate. Then analyze which frequency results in more conversions and fewer unsubscribes. If you are looking for benchmarks, according to Marketing Sherpa, the average unsubscribe rate for more than 80% of the companies they surveyed was less than three percent. Focus On Targeting Irrelevance will kill your lists. According to MarketingSherpa s Wisdom Report in 2011, 40% of subscribers mark s as spam because the communication was irrelevant. In the same report, those how send s targeted to through segmentation to your s to your segmented lists. specific audiences get 50% more clickthroughs than those who don t. So analyze the data on how your subscribers behave and focus on the relevance of your s to your segmented lists. 5

8 Chapter 2 How to Integrate into Inbound Marketing Digital marketers use many different tactics to market their products search, social media, mobile, analytics, advertising to name a few. should not be viewed as a separate entity. It is most effective when it s integrated with the rest of your marketing. In this chapter we show you different way to integrate with your other marketing assets. & Search Integration You know that link at the top of many s that offers people a chance to view the on their web browser? Not only does this help people who have trouble viewing the in their inbox, it can also help with your search optimization. When you host an html version of your on the web, you are creating an archive of that that is accessible to search engines. Because of that, make sure your content follows SEO best practices such as: Use your best keywords Anchor text in the body of the message Ensure all images have alt-tags Include social media sharing buttons to stretch the content further. 6

9 & Social Media Integration Numbers rarely lie. In a recent study from Aberdeen Research, 65% of the top 20% of B2B marketers who use social media for lead generation choose to integrate with social media. The nice thing is that you can mimic the success of this group more easily than you think. Here are some tactics to get you started. Add Social Sharing Buttons If you are interested in extending the reach of your and expand the visibility of your content and brand, try adding social media sharing and follow buttons to your s. It s simple, easy to do and effective. Send Based On Social Media Insights If you use integrated marketing analytics you can determine which leads or subscribers have mentioned you on Twitter. These are highly engaged leads and deserve targeted sends. Grow Your List Through Social Media We ve found that those who engage with you on social media are excellent leads. So give them a reason to subscribe to your list. Offer them a tantalizing call-to-action on your Facebook page, and be sure to make it clear why signing up for an subscription will benefit them. Integrated Analytics The online behavior of your customers and prospects is seamless. They go from social media to a website to opening an to clicking through to a landing page to a download and back to Facebook. They don t cover their tracks because they don t have to. But in today s world of analytics, you need to be able to see the integrated connection between all of these activities, and relying on individual analytics for each channel won t help. You need a multichannel view that helps you find out information such as: The number of people that clicked through but did not convert The number of people who converted on your website that came from social media, and, of those, the number that actually opened your last campaign. Which tactics result in more leads; PPC, organic search, or social. One of the real benefits to integrated analytics reports is that they help you get more targeted in your sends. With integrated marketing analytics, you can segment your mailing list and send communications based on the lead s history of downloads and pages viewed. With integrated analytic software like you can see how fits into the inbound marketing puzzle, giving you the context you need to make smart decisions. 7

10 Integration With Mobile More and more people open their s through their mobile devices. Depending on the industry, that number can be as high as 50%. And once they ve opened your on their mobile, chances are they won t reopen it on their computer. So what do you need to do to make your strategy mobile? Start by testing your templates to see how they look in different mobile devices. Make sure your call-to-action buttons and links can be easily clicked by readers using touch screens. Offer both plain text and Html versions of your . Since your images may not display, pay attention to the descriptions of your alt text under the images. Remember your is just the beginning of the process. Don t forget to optimize for mobile the landing pages and forms your links to. Look into getting marketing software that automatically optimizes your s and landing pages for mobile viewing. 8

11 Chapter 3 Deliverability: What Is It & How to Get It? Approximately 17% of all s don t arrive. You can blame it on a number of factors spam traps, defunct s, firewalls to name a few. If you want to keep your deliverability rates as high as possible, you need to 1. Keep your lists clean 2. Ensure you ve properly warmed up your IP when starting with a new service provider 3. Follow best inbound marketing practices for How to tell if you ve got a good list So how do you know if your list is good or not? Answer these five questions and you will get a good idea of where you stand. 1. Does Everybody On This List Have A Prior Relationship With Your Business? Without a prior relationship they won t be expecting your . For them it will be spam and many of them will mark it as such. That, in turn, will damage your Sender Score, which will make delivery of your harder. A relationship doesn t have to mean they have to be a customer, but they should of at least signed up for and be expecting information from you. 2. Do You Have An Unsubscribe List? If the answer is No, then you might be breaking the law when you send. Every company has people who have unsubscribed to their s. These people do not want to see your s again, and you need to respect that. If you don t, you re breaking the CANSPAM law and your upping the odds of people reporting your as spam. 9

12 3. Did You Purchase, Rent, Or Lease The List From A Third Party? If the answer is Yes, then realize that when you send s to this list you are increasing the chances of getting flagged for spam. These lists come from many places. The better ones had people give their address to somebody else, but they are expecting from them, not you. The worst ones harvest addresses from directories and those people on that list are definitely not expecting any type of Have You ed These Contacts Within The Last 12 Months? If the answer is no, many of your recipients may be surprised to get your , but not in a good way. When they get your , even if they recognize your company name, they might mark it as spam. If the answer is Yes, and you have answered the other questions correctly, then you are ready to go! What To Know About Server IP Addresses A server IP address is a series of numbers that uniquely identify the server that s sending your s, e.g Every campaign that is sent out is associate with an IP address. Your sender reputation is associated with that given IP address. Knowing this, you can either opt to have a dedicated IP address for your sends or use a shared IP address. We reccomend using a quality marketing platform such as Vertical Response, Mail Chimp or Hubspot. These providers have the scale of sends to register a sender score and it s important to use a company that is pretty strict about not letting users upload purchased list and send spam from their platform. A reputable platform is very interested in protecting the reputation of their IP address and sender score. 10

13 Chapter 4 List Segmenting - the key to success The reason why 40% of subscribers mark as spam (http://marketingsherpa.com/heap/ WisdomReport2011.pdf) is not because they did not know who sent it, but because what was sent irrelevant to their needs. For your marketing to succeed, it needs to be relevant. Targeting through segmentation is one way to make your s more relevant. Here are five great ways to create more tailored and effective s. 1. Geographic Segmentation If you are going to segment geographically, think about how the buyer s location influences his or her purchasing decision. Here are a few examples for segmenting by geography: When what you are offering has geographic limitations such as a regional sales event. When you are limited to an area as is the case for local landscaping companies, cleaning services, or restaurants. 2. Industry/Role Segmentation This applies more for B2B companies. Your customer s company is made up of different divisions. The way you relate to a sales person is different from the way you would talk to an IT person, or marketer for that matter. They have different goals, and different interests in your company. Targeting these specific interests can increase your click-through rates. 3. Content Interests Determining who your customers are is often influenced by their past. So use your analytics to determine what interests your leads. Look at the content they have viewed or downloaded and segment your lists accordingly. A simple way to start is to pull a list of people who have downloaded a certain whitepaper or other marketing offer. Then using that content as an indicator of what interests them, create a targeted or lead nurturing campaign that addresses that interest. 11

14 4. Behavior-Based Segmentation Some leads are further along the sales cycles than others, and you can often determine the level of interest they have about your products based on their activity on your website. For example, the way you would communicate with someone who has only seen a few pages on your site is different from someone who has downloaded five whitepapers and visited 50 pages. Your analytics should help you distinguish the browsing behavior of different website visitors. Use this information to make your communications more relevant to how far along the recipient is in his or her purchasing decision. When it comes to segmentation and personalization, look at what differentiates your subscribers and leads and see how you can address those needs or interests. You can start small - even the slightest segmentation can increase your success rates. The five suggestions above are just a starting point. As you become more involved with segmentation you will discover more ways to target the individual characteristics of your audience and your industry. 5. Segmentation By Brand Advocates Those who advocate for your brand want to feel the love. They want to believe you understand them. So who are they? Frequent buyers Social media fans Customers who have recommended you to others Non-customers who have advocated for you online These brand advocates need to be carefully nurtured. Your s need to acknowledge them, which you can do by sending thank-yous, advanced notice on new services or products, requests for feedback, and rewards. If show how you appreciate them, they will continue to spread the word. 12

15 Conclusion marketing should work to support your lead generation and conversion efforts. It should increase your sales cost effectively. In this ebook we elaborated on key ways that you can accomplish this: By growing your list and reducing unsubscribes. By integrating your with the rest of your marketing efforts. By improving your deliverability and ensuring that your subscribers receive your communication. By segmentation and personalization. These are foundational principles that will have a positive effect on your marketing. Apply this information to your marketing and watch those leads convert into sales. For more information or questions about implementing the tips mentioned contact us - we re here to help! MODassic Marketing modassicmarketing.com (214) W. Campbell Rd. #123 Richardson, TX

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